Showing all posts tagged: Ukraine

The Peaky Blinders military unit helping to defend Ukraine

21 June 2024

Kathryn Diss and Mathew Marsic, writing for ABC News:

For Commander Anton, it’s difficult to imagine returning to his quiet life before the war. The 33-year-old former builder is now a battle-hardened soldier who risks his life every day, just kilometres from the Russian border. He is part of an elite squad of soldiers who call themselves the “Peaky Blinders”, after the violent British television drama.

What a remarkable story. I couldn’t conceive of being involved in a drawn out armed conflict to defend my homeland. But then neither of course did the brave Peaky Blinders unit members, until Russia invaded their country. More power to them, I say.



You Don’t Know What War Is a book by Yeva Skalietska

25 November 2022

You Don't Know What War Is, by Yeva Skalietska, book cover

Nine months have passed since Russia commenced its illegal invasion of Ukraine. Despite the brutality of the aggressors, Ukrainian defenders have steadfastly resisted Russian attempts to deprive them of their sovereignty. And while many of us empathise with the struggle of the Ukrainian people, few can truly understand the horrors they confront daily.

Stories and books, such as You Don’t Know What War Is (published by Bloomsbury), written by twelve year old Ukrainian girl Yeva Skalietska, are vital when it comes to appreciating what is happening, even if they can only impart some of the experience, some of the constant, around the clock, fear:

Everyone knows the word ‘war’. But very few understand what it truly means. When you find you have to face it, you feel totally lost, walled in by fright and despair. Until you’ve been there, you don’t know what war is.

This is the gripping and moving diary of young Ukrainian refugee Yeva Skalietska. It follows twelve days in Ukraine that changed 12-year-old Yeva’s life forever. She was woken in the early hours to the terrifying sounds of shelling. Russia had invaded Ukraine, and her beloved Kharkiv home was no longer the safe haven it should have been. It was while she was forced to seek shelter in a damp, cramped basement that Yeva decided to write down her story. And it is a story the world needs to hear.


, ,

UFO sightings surge in skies above Ukraine recently

16 September 2022

Astronomers in Ukraine have observed an uptick in unidentified flying objects over the country in recent months. While it seem obvious there would be more aerial activity with a war raging in the region, scientists are adamant what they’re seeing in Ukrainian skies are not military vessels.

Ukraine astronomers have reported a slew of UFOs observed in the country’s airspace. They’ve reported their findings in a preprint paper published by Kyiv’s Main Astronomical Observatory Ukraine’s National Academy of Science. Remember, UFOs don’t necessarily mean extraterrestrial spaceships from other planets. Perhaps they are advanced military aircraft from much closer to home, like even from one of Ukraine’s (ahem) neighbors.

All the more curious given recent reports from US Navy pilots who say they’ve seen unidentified flying objects during flight operations. Are unidentified flying objects drawn to areas where military craft are operating?


, ,

Quick and quiet e-bikes assisting Ukrainian defenders

15 July 2022

Ukrainian soldiers have been using e-bikes, specially modified to carry light anti-tank weapons, in the defence of their country from Russian invaders. The e-bikes allow defenders to move both quickly, and crucially, quietly, to positions where they are needed.

Soldiers on electric bikes have been spotted across Ukraine since the early days of the war, mostly on ELEEK brand bikes. e-bikes are fast and, critically, much quieter than a gas powered bike. They allow soldiers to perform quick guard patrols or move swiftly into position.



Zelensky, a book by Andrew L Urban, Chris McLeod

6 June 2022

Zelensky, by Andrew L. Urban, Chris McLeod, book cover

Zelensky (published by Wilkinson Publishing, April 2022), is a portrait of Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, written by Australian author and former film critic Andrew L. Urban, and journalist and author Chris McLeod, which examines Zelensky’s resilience in the face of the Russian invasion of his country.

No one has been more surprised by Zelensky’s power to inspire and mobilise his countrymen and the world than Vladimir Putin, who expected Russia’s conquest of its beleaguered neighbour to be the work of an afternoon. Outfoxed and isolated, Putin is not the first person to have underestimated the former comedian with a spine of steel.


, , , ,

Photos from inside the besieged Mariupol steel plant

23 May 2022

The photos were taken by Dmytro Kozatsky, one of several thousand Ukrainian soldiers who managed to defend the Azovstal steel plant for almost three months, from Russian invaders. Kozatsky is now being held by the Russians as a prisoner of war.

Here’s hoping he wins an award for these images.



Bono and Edge of U2 perform in Kyiv Ukraine

17 May 2022

Excerpts of a surprise performance given by Bono and Edge of Irish rock band U2, accompanied by Ukrainian band Antytila, whose members are also assisting in defending their country from the Russian invasion. Bono told those gathered in the Kyiv metro station that is doubling as a bomb shelter, their people fight not just for their freedom, but for all who cherish liberty:

Your presence leads the world in the cause of freedom right now. The people of Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom.

Bono’s on point as per usual.



Sergiy Maidukov, Kyiv based Ukrainian illustrator

2 May 2022

Sergiy Maidukov is an illustrator based in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian.

During the day he assists in defending his country from the Russian invasion, and at night, while confined to his apartment on account of curfews, draws what he sees from his windows, all too often sights no one should have to witness:

Sometimes, I see an explosion reflected on the glass surface of a skyscraper, or silent flares going up and then burning out in a shower of sparks. One week, I saw anti-aircraft guns firing tracer rounds into the night sky, where a hunt for a Russian drone was under way.


, ,

Twitter bots surge following Russian invasion of Ukraine

31 March 2022

Tim Graham, senior lecturer in digital media at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Digital Media Research Centre, has detected a significant surge in Twitter bots, being automated accounts on the social networking service, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month. It seems the purpose of many of these bots is to boost, or amplify, other Twitter accounts that are disseminating propaganda supporting the Russian invasion.

The massive spike around February 24, the day of the invasion, indicated some were probably bots, but was not conclusive. Next, Dr Graham deployed a specialised software called Botometer, which uses a machine-learning algorithm to distinguish bot accounts from human ones by looking at the features of a profile, including friends, social network structure, language, and sentiment. The model gives accounts a score from zero to one, with one showing it’s certain the account is a bot. “When we ran this model and checked the result, there was clearly this huge spike of accounts which had almost a perfect bot score,” Dr Graham said.

Twitter remains unconvinced by Graham’s work though, suggesting aspects of his research may be flawed, and asserting they have more information at their disposal in assessing whether or not accounts are automated or genuine.



From Anastasiia Lapatina in Mariupol, Ukraine

22 March 2022

Tweets don’t get much more poignant than this one from Anastasiia Lapatina, a journalist with The Kyiv Independent, who’s currently in Mariupol, Ukraine.

I am sure I will die soon. It is a matter of a few days. In this city, everyone is constantly waiting for death. I just want it not to be too scary. – testimony of a woman in #Mariupol